So, I made the mistake of getting on Twitter after Super Jackie Grealish’s new contract was announced. Needless to say, there were more than a few morons claiming a lack of ambition and welcoming him to another relegation battle. Or saying he settled because he was priced out of a move. Such small, sad people.

Look. We all know how it is. A player seeks his ceiling, be it wages, silverware, legacy. The general theme is that when a “big” club comes calling, you come running. You get the money, the big stage. And Gareth Southgate will suddenly start to think you can play football since you’re not wearing claret and blue. Ah, Middlesbrough. Footballing mecca, that.

Truth is, as often as not, big-money players just get chewed up. Manager, system, owners, expectations…A brilliant player in the wrong place at the wrong time, well. Doesn’t matter how good you are. It’s a roll of the dice.

Jack: Good lad, humble. Always plays with a smile. Always tries to raise his game. Has a bit of a fumble now and then, but he’s Villa through and through, technically brilliant, and has carried his family’s club on his back. He doesn’t lack ambition. He’s not a shirker. Far from it.

I’m not going to put words in his mouth. Doesn’t mean he’ll stick around forever. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t wish him out the door if we get relegated, or that he hasn’t said, “One more year and I’m off, whether things aren’t looking up or your valuation is met.” We won’t begrudge him in the slightest if he feels he needs to move.

But we also really want to believe in our clubs. We really like saying he’s one of our own. Because it does mean something. Or used to. And that’s the connection that the Champions League and Sky money have destroyed.

We all get it. We get money. We get TV. We get the CL and all the rest. But we’d all like to think that if we were good enough, we’d stick with our boyhood club if the club treated us right, and if the club were willing to let us go when they knew our talents exceed their limitations.

For too long, Villa have been considered a selling club. Barry, Milner, Delph, Young…go back as far as you like. Compass are trying to build something. And you don’t build anything by having to sell your best players. By having to admit you can’t go any further.

“He’s only staying because he was priced out of a move.” b*****ks. He’s worth more than Harry Maguire, for a start. I’m sick of the entrenched top 4-6 thinking they can just dictate terms because they’re interested. Pay up or f**k off. Simple as.

Jack may be here another five years. He may leave next year. Who knows. He didn’t know, apparently, until after the Manure friendly. But he wasn’t pushing for a move. He waited, listened, and said, “Yeah. Why not?”

A little bit more of this, and football would make a lot more sense.

We all know that if we go down he needs to stay up. We all know he’s better than every player around him. We also know he’d rather be a star, a legend, than a disposable widget in a football factory. We all know Compass drew a line and said, “If you want him, here’s the price. We’d like to go somewhere and we’re rich, too.” They’ll try to match his ambition because if they don’t, we don’t deserve to aspire. Not unreasonable. Like I said, he’s worth more than Maguire.

And Jack is playing along. He knows he’s not Messi or Ronaldo. He also knows he can play with the best. But he’d rather stick with us for at least another year than just jump ship to become another forgotten big-money transfer that didn’t quite work out. How long is that list?

No bids? The Uniteds of the world avoid embarrassment by making their interest known and turning heads without making bids. The Spurs of the world keep lowballing and losing out, which is why they’re always on the outside looking in.

So. Well done, Jack. We know what’s in play. And we thank you for the vote of confidence. We thank you for staying another year in the Championship. We thank you for getting us back up and helping us stick. We thank you for steadying us for at least one more season. You’ve done everything we could’ve asked.

If or when you move on, we’ll always remember you. Because when it counted, you were Aston Villa. And that’s all a player could ever ask for.

Over to you.

Comments 81

  1. Great write up JC, Jack knows if he needs to play for England , he has to be on the pitch every week. That and the expectation of a 80 mil move should not be put on any player, you are setting them up for failure (look at Coutinho at Barca). As you say, Jack may move on in the future but as a confirmed elite and not based on one PL season.

    I was wondering how we had 60 posts for a new story (the ManU post review), realised 80% of those were Frem’s stream of consciousness during the match. Frem, mate, save us all the scrolling.

  2. Goalkeeper and striker has been a problem for us since Benteke left. Tammy filled a gap for a year but we knew he’d never be ours

    Hopefully Watkins and Martinez have solved this issue. We haven’t had a good keeper since Friedal.

    Now the issues are both our wings

  3. Quite right there Frem.
    Brad Freidel was our last good keeper, and if he had stayed another season instead of going to Spurs on a free, things could have been better!!

  4. Great Leader JC. 100% agree. Jack signing for 5 years is a statement on how well our club is now run.

    It’s a killer having to wait until Monday for our 1st game.

    Will be interesting to see if we keep Ramsey or loan him to Championship.

  5. frem yeah man gk and striker such important positions. talking about everton other day and mentioned this is why they always struggle whoever they sign. all they do is re jig the midfield. never replaced lukaku and have dodgy pickford!

  6. last night I liked nakamba a lot and rasmey. he looked to pass forward every time. Lansbury, taylor and el ghazi were shocking. need a bit of a cull.

    And I think we should get another striker. sell Sammy and loan out davies.

    so 2 wingers a st a cm and we will be proper set

  7. H&V,

    Nakamba definitely looked like he’s trying to learn from Luiz. Was more aggressive and forward-looking.

    Was also a good outing for Ramsey. Was looking to turn with the ball, get things moving upfield. Didn’t look out of place.

  8. Thanks JC is the Covid getting to you? 🙂

    I think Jack probably took his England experience of not being past the ball much and thought f**k this. then on top nobody bid for him anyway, I hope now he has a cap he’s at least £100m you snooze you lose.

  9. Villalore,

    Also agree about needing to play and be a star versus getting thrown into an unknown mix. If he takes a little while to settle and fit into the system, he’d be getting a mountain of abuse, and would probably get sidelined so OGS could get the supporters off his back.

    I’d had a bit to drink last night with an old colleague I hadn’t seen in months, so perhaps I was waxing a bit poetic. But I do think there’s a combination of factors, and what you say is right up there.

    As I noted, I was getting a bit wound up with all the “we didn’t want him” from various idiots. And continuing today with Sutton and Rio. Clubs like United might not have wanted to pay £80m, but that’s the way things work. If Jack was wanting a move, I think Villa could very well have said, okay, thanks for all you’ve done, we won’t stand in your way. And the final price would’ve depended on who Villa think they could get to replace him. Don’t see anyone budging on Sancho’s price. If United landed a good alternative in van de Beek, more power to them. Prices are lower in other leagues.

    Clubs like United will also bide their time and look to pip in after letting rumors swirl and the player is unsettled. I’d not have been surprised at all to see them come in late. Or even Spurs, with their usual 33% of asking-price bids. Jack gave the club leverage, and I’m sure he received assurances not only about recruitment and ambition, but also about being able to leave if it were best for him.

  10. VillaMD,

    You know, I’m okay waiting and getting a bit more training in. Since the Carabao game mattered (even if it felt like a training match), that was enough of a fix for the week.

    And honestly, not sure I’ve quite recovered from the post-lockdown run-in. I’d been saying all season I hope it didn’t come down to West Ham on the final day, and it did. Between the playoffs the year before and the great escape…What I wouldn’t give for some midtable boredom for a season.

  11. Cheers, Plug. And indeed, welcome aboard Martinez.

    Totally agree with Frem and PP that we’ve really struggled with GKs since Friedel. Not as sexy as another striker, forward, or MF whiz, but every bit as important.

    I like Heaton, he’s a good keeper, but given our luck and what the injury might’ve done to him, was important we get another senior man in.

  12. JC- yes its a shock to find people out there are Biased and not entirely with it, but it feels good sometimes to let them know eh 🙂

    Martinez, must confess know nothing about him, came across this article and video and I think I am more happy for him than he is, talk about sticking in there.

    From what I have seen he is everything I thought Kalinic could be. Big and rangy and gets down quick for a big lad and when he stretches its like Mr Fantastic just turned up. Great stats last season, behind only pope and Lloris in some and top in fare few. Think we have got a keeper that will change a lot for the back four. I think they better get out of the way though.

    http://www.avillafan.com/32537/aston-villa-sign-top-class-goalkeeper-emi-martinez/

  13. Couldn’t be happier for Davis, MK.

    He got that ball out there and I just held my breath, willing it to go in. He took his time, got his shape right, and just passed it into the back corner of the net. Very well taken. Must be a huge relief for him.

  14. According to reports, the only thing holding up Bertrand Traore is the issue of a work permit. I give my full support to Compass who have been brilliant with their heavy investment in AVFC. They are shooting high.

    The man who should be worried now is Deano. He simply has to deliver this season. By deliver, I mean comfortable mid table. Anything less and the vultures will start circling.

  15. Plug,

    Always hard to tell with Dean, but I don’t think he’s too worried. While the pressure will be there, don’t think it will be any worse than during restart. He’s a year wiser, learned an awful lot.

    Given Luiz’s emergence, reinforcements at the back (maybe Rico Henry, too), I think we’ll continue to be more solid. We created chances and scored goals. We just ended up losing too many games where we should’ve had a point. That was the story of the season, and that’s where I think we’ll see the biggest change.

    So yeah, the pressure’s on. But Deano seems to do well under pressure. I think for the whole squad, just surviving, showing they could step up and get crucial results will also put them a lot more at ease.

  16. Sammata off. Good

    Still can’t believe we haven’t signed a winger. Going into Monday with Ghazi and Trez. Shocking. Ghazi needs to go. Trez is a bench player at best

    Linked to Barkley. Yes please. Exactly what we need

    We will sign another striker also. Hopefully king..

    So left back. Centre back. Barkley. Traore. Rashica. King before deadline day please

  17. Frem,

    Traore just waiting on work permit. Raschica and even Benrahma remain in play.

    I think with outgoings, say Samatta, Hogan off the books (however much he was on them), and maybe a couple others, we’ll see King happen along with another winger/ wide forward.

    I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the Barkley link.

  18. Someone with limited knowledge of FFP was asking me questions, and apart from a few basics, I finally had to say, “No one on the outside actually knows what’s going on until a team gets in trouble. And the official rules I’ve looked up are a bit vague.” On purpose, no doubt.

  19. The chap says that the covid situation has played into our hands (after it may well of saved us) and we will have more to spend than we would of, that £100m may in reality be £200m but more likley to be about £125m . Covid allows us to paint whatever picture we want on loss of earnings.

  20. Our owners are a blessing, the other clubs can’t buy because of covid and their loss of earnings and huge overheads, deep joy 🙂 If you have cr*p owners or a large outlay your buggered.

  21. We need to spend 200 million

    Our squad depth is still dire. Our bench needs to be good to

    And against Burton it certainly isn’t

    We don’t just need a better starting 11. We need 7 better subs

    We can’t have Lansbury, Elmo, Taylor, hourihane on the bench
    . We need better

  22. Frem – how did we survive last season? like a scout team going out and winning the local mens league. If they were not good enough we’d have been below Norwich, imagine holding Liverpool at 1-0 until the 80th min with a bunch of blokes off the street lol 🙂

  23. Mark. For what we want. They aren’t good enough. The owners are ambitious.. Most these players aren’t top 12 prem quality

    We finished 17th. 35 points. That’s dire

    Burnley will struggle this season. Squad is awful

  24. Frem- No mate getting relegated with 17 points and -49 goal difference thats dire.

    I would be amazed if we replace all of those players this season, next maybe but we would put ourselves in the same boat as last season and they might not gel at all.

    Plenty will struggle mate, I don’t think we will but you never know.

  25. I prefer us not to spend 200M. A couple of more players. You would think that our “lesser” players will improve with better players around them.

    And let’s give a few of our younger players a chance. It feels much better to see youth come through vs spending 20M on a player

  26. VillaMD
    As we apparently only spent 75mil so far, I can’t see it.
    It was good to see Ramsay get some game time.
    The U23s are having a steep learning curve, so it will take a while.
    First things first, getting the 1st team to bed in the new players as we go, will take some time.

  27. IanG,

    Agree. Traore could take a couple of months to settle. He has a big advantage having played for Chelsea. Rashica, that could be a lot time to settle. Albania county of birth and plays for Kosovo, speaks no English and he prefers to stay in Germany. I say we walk away.

    I’d gladly take King though. I think he’s super under-rated

  28. Welcome Martinez 🙂 finally we have a keeper that is strong in every department though Tom is a very good keeper he is not the best at crosses or distribution which is a real strong point of our new goalie

    It look like we could still be in for both Benrahma and Rashica which would mean we would always have a top forward thinking player on the bench when everyone is fit especially if King comes in too … we are still linked strongly with bringing in a left back ……. amazing job being done by the villa backroom … if they get everything done that they set out to do it will have been one amazing window that would transform this club into something much closer to what we all hope for
    utv

  29. Really hope we get Traoré done before Monday. We need pace and athleticism. Fed up of snails like Ghaizi and Trez

    If Danny Rose is available we have to get him. Very good left back.. Quick. Strong. Athletic. Everything Targett isn’t

  30. Agreed, runtings.

    Targeted acquisitions. I’m going to leave it to the staff on Traore and Rashica/Benrahma, etc. Part of that ‘data’ profile Lange was talking about was where they’ve been, what was going on, how they’ve responded to adversity, mental toughness, intelligence, etc. So, focusing on the whole player, body of work in context, rather than “he’s fast,” was at a big club, or whatever.

    I get the questions about Cash, for example, when Guilbert showed a lot: pace, tenacity, etc. Main thing was inconsistency, and as he said was pointed out to him, not always getting close enough to his man.

    But. Clearly there was thinking there in that they moved quickly and decisively, and sometimes you go for best available players rather than position of need when they’re available. The judgment clearly is that there’s more upside in Cash, and that, coupled with Martinez, defending is still top of mind from lessons learned.

  31. VillaMD,

    Yeah…and good luck to him. Didn’t work out for him, but he’s an honest player, worked hard, took the twists and turns like a professional. We just couldn’t get on the same page.

  32. Still a lot going on in the market with a lot of unfinished business for Villa.

    In the meantime I have just watched the Coventry V QPR match which Coventry won 3-2 in the end, but it was a pleasure watching the second half and seeing the amazing display put in by Callum O’hare, who got MOM and scored the second goal with “the touches of Lionel Messi” was the description of one of the match commentators, which I would agree with. His tenacious ability is unquestionable, and his ability to move into good positions, chase into the box, desire to want the ball. How good could he have been at Villa we shall never know, as Jack was always going to be the star, and I think that was the main reason that Dean Smith allowed him to leave. I shall still want to watch his career with interest, because I believe he will will become a star if he can stay injury free.
    I also hear another of our ex youngsters, Daniel Johnson could be joining Rangers, so good luck to him.
    Jake Doyle-Hayes is still looking for a club, but many clubs cannot afford him at the moment, so must have had a good pay off from Villa.

  33. Hopefully on the first team squad we will finally sign Rashica and Rico Henry before the end of next week, once Traore has been confirmed tomorrow.
    We still may end up with Benramha if the Rashica deal does not conclude, as he still has not been signed by anyone.
    Still other players in the mix like Rian Brewster from Liverpool, King from Bournemouth, and if Rico Henry does not materialise, then Max Aarons is still a possibility.

  34. PP- I wish we had kept O’hare, definitely an intelligent player, I think Ramsey will be given pitch time this year as the new Platt. Its ok putting kids out with the second string but I don’t think it shows their true worth. If they are quality then they get better playing with quality, and everyone needs to feel wanted. Best luck to Callum.

    DS has said a couple more (presumably after Traore) but that Brentford are not selling any more players, how true that is we will see.

  35. TRAORÉ SIGNED

    BOOM. A WINGER.

    Now sign a left winger. Rashica

    Also need a central mid. Left back. Striker

    But going into to the first game with Hourihane and Trez starting again is very very disappointing. We need better.

    But because our wingers are so poor we push Grealish wide

  36. We are one very good right winger from a good starting 11

    Martinez

    Cash
    Konsa
    Mings
    Targett

    Luiz
    Mcginn
    Grealish

    Traoré
    Watkins
    Rashica

    Now that’s good. Not many better 3 centre mids than that. Konsa and Mings are a good partnership. Athletic. Quick.
    Front 3 is so much better

    But… Its then a question of the bench needing to be better. We need another striker, Orgi maybe. King. We need a better centre mid to complete with Grealish and Mcginn.. Not Hourihane. We need a better left back than Taylor. I don’t really want Ghazi and Trez being the only wingers as back up.. Ghazi not good enough

  37. The latest talk is now of spending £25million on Benramha, even though Dean has said that Frank is not selling any more players.
    Still think Benramha and Rico Henry may be sold, as may Buendia and Aarons from Norwich will probably be leaving.
    Rashica is still a possibility, and now with the number of quality players we have signed, he may well want to come to Villa.
    It is really a good feeling to have Villa signing so many quality players for the first time. Let us hope that Dean can now mould them into an amazing team,
    It really makes this new season great to look forward to.

    MK
    Looking forward to see Ramsey’s development, as he has great potential, and looks comfortable on the ball. Hope O’hare will prove his worth and really show his talent at Coventry.

  38. Nice to see Chris Wilder complementing Villa and the progress they are making, rather than complaining, as some managers do, when they miss out on targets, or are unhappy with decisions made. He is a gentleman, and apart from Monday night, I hope they have a successful season!!

  39. PP,

    Yep, wish Callum and Doyle-Hayes the best. Hope we have buy-back clause for D-Hayes. Hayes was rated as Xavi-like at Cheltenham. Not sure why we don’t rate him.

    Happy days at Villa. I hope we don’t sign a CM and instead have Ramsey in the bench.

    King and a Winger and if the Brentford LB only costs 7M….go get him

  40. Welcome to VP Bertrand Traore. We hope your time with us successful. That stands every chance as you have joined a team which is on the rise with exciting times ahead.

  41. Well guys, that might be the end of the spending now. The wise men have bought who they think we need. Whilst I’m happy with the positions addressed, I still think our greatest benefit would have been a big, strong midfield enforcer.

  42. Really nice write up thanks JC. . .enjoyed reading that one.
    Haven’t managed to read through all the comments yet so apologies if I’m repeating what’s already been said but I really do hope that we aren’t signing many more players.

    I’m happy with the signings so far, particularly Martinez, (I’d have been happy to stick with Heaton, but in his absence we needed a good keeper) and Ollie Watkins (I do believe he’ll make the step up and looks to be better than our previous options). Matty Cash also seems like a good signing and of course the biggest of all is Jack’s new contract . . . . .can you imagine Villa being able to attract a player of his calibre to Villa at this stage of our ‘re’-development because I can’t.
    I’m hoping to be convinced by Traore although I can imagine some fans quickly getting on his back when he makes his first mistakes (which he will).
    Douglas Luiz looks like a new player, Trezeguet is getting better and better and hopefully we’ll have John McGinn back to his best for a whole season this time round.
    That’s more than enough for me.
    More signings risk changing too much ‘again!’

    Do you really think that Sheffield United have much better players than us because I don’t. I wouldn’t swap Smith for Wilder either. To my mind, the real difference between the two sides last season was stability. By the end of last season I believe we were matching them and provided we don’t have a complete overhaul again, I think we can start this season by more than matching them.

  43. R0bb0,

    For sure. I agree with you.

    My view – Our current players are better. Shakespeare is huge. Trez is better. Luiz and SJM is like having 2 new top 6 players.

    It was interesting to hear DS talk about Ramsey. Apparently loads of Championship clubs are after him, but DS said he won’t make decision until deadline day in October. What does that tell you?

  44. Fulham Andy West brom look like we did early last season. Defensively very naive and poor.

    Hopefully we defend like we did after lock down and attack better.

    H and V. Yes. That’s the problem.. We are one injury away from Ghazi starting. Or Taylor. Or Hourihane. Its not good enough

    We need another 4 players minimum. One to start left wing. And the other 3 to add more quality depth in center mid, up front and left back

  45. f**king hell 4-3

    Leeds can’t defend either

    We were fantastic defensively after lock diwn. We have to keep that know how and tactical discipline. We will stay up if wr do

    West brom and Fulham won’t finsih above us

    So more attacking quality and we wjll be fine

  46. Frem,

    4 more players! That is crazy.

    Our goal for this year is top 10, possible top 6. We do not need 4 more players. Surely Ramsey is like a new player?

    Agreed on Leeds. No defense. Even Everton and WBA – shocking goalies

    And we just signed the best goalie in the world (as Liverpool lad is making mistakes)

  47. It’s a big call that DS is giving Jacob Ramsey until October 16 to prove himself. Pressure on our 19 year old ‘David Platt’, but I think he can handle it

  48. Frem, you’re right, like us last year, the promoted teams are full of enthusiasm and energy but like us, are likely to let themselves down in the first half of the season. Leeds have more quality than the other two and ‘may’ get away with it.

    It’s exciting seeing new players coming in and of course there are positions where we could improve but talk of ‘too many changes’ is not idle.
    It really is a ‘thing’!

    The challenges that it places on a manager mustn’t be underestimated. It takes time to get to know each new player and understand their strengths and weaknesses. It takes even more time to see how they interact with other players and what your best combinations might be against different teams and playing styles and even at different stages of a game. We’re not going to bring in 4 players, or even 1 player of the calibre of Jack Grealish . . . . any new players will be a gamble and likely to be a comparatively marginal improvement on those that we already have.
    I’d prefer us to work out how to best use the players we now have. I’m sure I ‘could’ get excited about one more quality player. I’d start worrying if we brought in 2 more, and I think any more than that would be a real mistake and we’d be worse off for it . . . . at least in the first half of the season.

  49. Cheers, r0bb0. Good comment yourself.

    Me, I think there are still two more coming in. Don’t know who it’ll be, but Rashica, King, Benrahma, Henry (depending on the club’s stance…everyone’s for sale, but it’ll cost, and the player obviously has to want it), Buendia…

    But with Wes out til January, I do see another striker, which is why we’ll let Ally go, and I wouldn’t doubt Smith wanting another wide player. I also wouldn’t mind another CM.

  50. Doesn’t look like Sammata is off after all. Gutted.. He’s absolutely dire. Go and get King

    Wolves signing Nelson Semado is absolutely depressing.

    A couple more players isn’t enough. Even to get 12th we need a better squad. Our options of the bench are dire. We need a centre mid, left winger and striker at the bare minimum. Left back really also.
    I think we need a tall DM as well like Billing. We are a very small side

    So really, we are still way off

  51. Why do we take so long to sign players?

    Wolves announce players so quickly without any rumours

    Then ours are linked for weeks and weeks and weeks and eventually sign

    Drives me mad

  52. No idea, Frem on length of deals.

    I would think it has something to do with the way Wolves are going about their business, which is generally different than our approach.

    For us, I think there are definite targets, sure, and plenty of leaks…All the talk on Rashica, for example, seems to be coming from Bremen. But I think we’ve got several options. We see the price, do or don’t like, and then are biding our time to see how it plays out while talking to other clubs/targets.

    Watkins happened quickly, in the end, most likely because it looked like someone was going to meet the valuation, which ended the waiting game. Traore happened quickly, as did Cash.

    We keep hearing that ‘no bids’ have been made. That’s very disingenuous. Contact is made, back-channel messages are sent, “Yeah, we’re sticking to that; no, he’s not for sale at any price,” and then the agents, “I think there’s a willingness to move,” all that, and there’s back and forth. Never mind what the player/agent may be saying to the club.

    I don’t think despite the money available that Compass are keen to held to ransom, and the recruitment staff don’t want to be seen as just saying, “okay, £25m it is” when they think there’s a viable alternative at £15m. But they continue to hold out for what they think is the best bet until something forces their hand.

  53. Frem- to get 12th last season would of needed two more draws and 4 wins. Considering we led in so many games and lost it shouldn’t be to much of an ask eh.

    For one thing if we signed all the players you are talking about we would be back to square one and no cohesion.

    If you were a wolves fan you would be getting a load of b*****ks aimed at you about transfers, you would also still be saying why haven’t we signed anyone Villa have signed 4 players. Villa also don’t advertise their real intentions and No doubt Wolves have been working on the deal for months.

    I doubt that Liverpool rang up and said heres £40m give us Jota and Wolves said no problem we’ll get on the phone and buy Semado then.

  54. Villa are s**t. We need x2 GK, x4 CB, x4 FB, x4 CM, x2 LM, x2 RM, x4 ST, x1 M, x3 AM, new stadium in a different city, new name for the club and x 60,000 new supporters.

    Fudge me Frem I honestly think the only way you would be content with your football team is if you supported Liverpool or Man City.

    I for one are grateful that we are still in the premiership and our owners are showing commitment and doing it in a clever and sustained way unlike just throwing money at it and hoping for the best. If it wasn’t for Compass we would probably be in the second division or bankrupt.

    Sorry for rant but I was told that if you haven’t got anything good to say then don’t say anything at all. You seem to be the opposite.

  55. Haggis,

    Good comments.

    I think Frem is a very passionate and emotional fan. Nothing wrong with that. It’s good to write with emotion.

    Do we all agree that Wolves are better run? I doubt it. I for one LOVE our owners. I think this season is the most optimistic I’ve been since Paul McGrath days.

    Get Ross Barkley in. 20M, he’s a snip

  56. VillaMD. What is he passionate about about from constantly putting down the Villa. Frem has been in here for years but I have never until this year seen such negativity on every single post.

    This is my escape from all the s**te that’s going on about us. This site to me as always been the more level headed and although I rarely comment I do like reading the intellectual debates (well some of them ) that go on here.

    Yes we had the Lerner and O’Neil Days of top 6 but if that would of been the clever approach we are now seeing from our new owners I honestly think we would of been up there challenging for Champions League on a regular basis rather than the relegation and almost bankruptcy.

    We are in the best place I have every known the club and I was there when we won the league, European and European Super cup.

    We have invested on the academy and are finally looking at the long term development of this great club.

    We have a manager who took from mid table championship to premiership, a cup final and survival in 18 months. We have an assistant manager who is admired throughput the world and unlike what Frem says will attract big players.

    The Future is bright just show a bit of patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. VTID

  57. Still worry about us. A lot

    We are still light weight in midfield. The better teams will dominate us.

    Centre back also is an issue. Hause isn’t upto standard and Engles will be off.

    Traoré has better Sat’s as a striker. So maybe he’s the striker? And we will buy more wingers?

    Either way. We need more wingers and or strikers.

    I’d like Billing plus another creative mid

  58. So we kick off this evening against Sheffield UTD – let’s hope the game is more entertaining than the first match back after lockdown. The only entertainment on that occasion was the Hawk-Eye goal-line technology error.

    I expect a fast start this evening, Jack looked class against Burton demonstrating his sublime footballing skills – he was majestic.

    I expect to see Cash – Martinez and Watkins making starts this evening, it is encouraging to sign a striker, he looks capable of scoring regularly. We have missed that since the departure of Benteke.

    With Dougie and Mcginn back – I expect us to dominate in midfield and create plenty of chances

    We need to win this evening. Start the season on a positive note and get 3 points.

    2-0 Villa. With Watkins scoring a brace.

  59. Frem – agreed Billing would be a great signing to bolster our midfield.

    There are plenty of rich pickings from Bournemouth – Watford – Norwich.

    Doucoure was an astute signing by Everton.

    I am surprised they have not been transferred to other clubs.

    It must be their wages.

    I would love for us to sign Odsonne Edouard – he would be a super signing. A young talented goal machine.

    I am sure we will sign 2 more players before the window closes.

  60. Love the optimism. No reason not to like the state of the club. For once.

    Anyway, a match preview is up. Going to try to be a bit more on the ball this season. Luiz is my inspiration.

    COYVB

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